The main EOR technologies today are SAGD — steam heating to lower viscosity, and Hydrofracking — shooting water into the earth to create fissures. After comparing these with ETCT, we can see that ETCT is clearly the most economical and environment friendly technology.

SAGD (Steam Assisted Gravity Drainage)

  • Extreme technical demands (heating plants required to make steam, installing insulation casing)
  • Cannot be used in compact rock
  • Huge energy consumption for steam production (up to 70% energy loss)
  • Extremely high infrastructure and maintenance costs
  • Not economical for wells deeper than 800m (2600 feet)
  • Large consumption and contamination of water
  • Rapid, permanent flooding (increased WOR) of the well
  • After extraction of some 30% of bitumen, the well produces 78-86% water and is no longer effective in producing oil
  • Production costs are estimated to be between $50-60/bbl, sometimes reaching $90/bbl or more
  • Great environmental damage

 Hydrofracture

  • Rapid, permanent flooding (increased WOR) of the well
  • Technical demands (pumps required often exceed 10,000 HP)
  • Limited possibilities of repeating treatment; economic feasibility rapidly declines
  • Enormous consumption of water and its subsequent contamination
  • Suitable only for lighter forms of crude oil
  • High costs

ETCT – Environment-friendly Thermo Chemical Treatment

  • No infrastructural investments
  • Environmentally sound – no harmful by-products are released into the air, no water is polluted
  • Reduces the water cut (WOR)
  • Cleans the well of asphaltenes and paraffins, extending its useful life
  • Suited for wells of any depth, without restriction
  • Can be modified for any type of oil, in any climate (incl. off-shore)
  • Suitable for any type of well (horizontal, vertical, injection), at any depth, with any water cut, including heavily-damaged wells
  • Suitable for shale gas wells
  • Works on bitumens and heavily-watered wells, in any climate (including Arctic)
  • Energy-efficient (negligible energy losses)
  • Effects last for up to two years and can be repeated at will

Costs per barrel of additionally-recovered crude oil can vary, but experience shows that, over a two year period, it can be as low as 0.5 USD/bbl, depending on the geological conditions. Treatment of bitumen or very heavy oil when steam is not efficient anymore will enable renewed production; wells can produce as much as twice the original amount. Costs are, on average, between 3-15 USD/bbl, depending on geological conditions.